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Bristol Bath Creative RD – Bath Spa University

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D works to bring together networks in Bristol and Bath in order to forge connections, share knowledge, create new opportunities and drive innovation.

Funding and Fellowships

For the very latest news, funding and fellowship opportunities, follow Bristol + Bath Creative R+D on Twitter and sign-up for their monthly newsletter.

About the project

This first-of-a-kind collaboration between Bath Spa University, it's neighbouring universities – University of Bath, University of Bristol and UWE Bristol – and digital creativity centre Watershed, intends to break down doors, connecting the worlds of university research and creative business to develop a shared vision for tomorrow’s creative industries.

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D is an exciting £6.8m innovation programme funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and is here to make a real and lasting impact, attracting new talent and fostering the next generation of original, diverse, creative minds. The aim is for Bristol and Bath to carry the torch for jaw-dropping innovation, creating the most inventive, compelling new products, services and experiences. The network will aim to achieve this in an inclusive and sustainable way, working as one to create a positive economic, social and cultural impact.

"We are delighted to be a part of this exciting collaboration. This partnership between Bristol and Bath’s four Universities, together with Watershed and key business partners, will create the conditions for a real step-change in activity, enabling the use of creative technologies to be better harnessed alongside the region’s burgeoning creative and cultural sector."

Kate Pullinger, Director of the Centre for Cultural and Creative Industries


Pathfinders are themed, creative R+D projects designed to lead the Bristol + Bath cluster into the future, engage with emergent technologies and develop a diverse new talent base. For the very latest on the five pathfinders running from 2019 until 2023, and to apply for funding, please see our website.

The first four Pathfinders are:

Digital Placemaking

Digital Placemaking aims to enhance and deepen the relationship between people and places. We believe the best examples of digital placemaking are co-designed by different kinds of communities, using digital technology and creative solutions to improve or enhance the public experience of place.

The Digital Placemaking R&D Production call asked for ideas that explore questions of belonging, safety, hope and power in public spaces. We're pleased to announce the funded prototype projects are POPMAP, Everything is Music, Stupid Cities and Narratives.

Our industry partners are: 

Read more about the full cohort.

Expanded Performance

The Expanded Performance Pathfinder will explore the concept of liveness and togetherness in the context of current innovations in technology. Looking across the theatre and live music sectors, our research and development will consider how shows are made and marketed to how they are captured and distributed. 

We're delighted to announce our Expanded Performance cohort of Fellows and Industry Partners who each bring unique research questions, and will be working together to explore the challenges and opportunities around the theme for the next 11 months.

Our cohort of nine Fellows has been selected across Academia, Industry, New Talent and Inclusion. 

Our six Industry Partners are: 

We are also delighted to be working with Senheiser as our Technology Partner, Real World Studios and MAYK as Showcasing Partners and Knowle West Media Centre as our Inclusion Partner

Read more about the full cohort.

Amplified Publishing

Amplified Publishing explores future models of content creation, distribution, discovery and consumption. With contenc made ever more accessible through a proliferation of of new broadcasting and streaming platforms and associated business models, this pathfinder will be asking what "publishing" means today.

How will synchronous visual and audio media through 5G and other technologies enhance and expand print-based media? What will voice actuivation and personalisation offer? With the rise of visual storytelling, what is the future of reading? And, most importantly of all, who are our audiences, where are our audiences, and what does our audience want?

Amplified Publishing brings media companies, games, trade, music and broadcast publishers together with tech innovators to see what kinds of responses to these challenges can be created.

Read more about the pathfinder.

Creative Ecologies

Creative Ecologies will explore creativity as a networked, connected practice, not something that happens in isolation in studios, offices or labs. Working with experts across our region and the world, we'll consider how we can make these networks more resilient, dynamic and inclusive, ensuring they are future-proofed to withstand systematic shocks, and can respond to the pressing emergencies of our time.

We'll be asking a range of questions: what can we learn from how creative economies are designed in other parts of the world? How can the models we use to build our businesses or the way we run our cities be developed to make them more sustainable, inclusive and progressive? How can we ensure that people – not technology – are put at the heart of a better future? 

Our creative ecology spreads far beyond industrial sectors and fixed geographies, to encompass whole communities that stretch all over the world. We want to explore how to make this ecology healthy, equitable and strong, and show how creative and cultural value is everywhere, and is vital to our futures. 

Hopeful Futures Network

We'll draw together experts from across Bath, Bristol and the world to explore sustainable growth, inclusion, climate emergencies and responsible innovation through seminars and development labs. We'll be speaking to activists, artists, technologies, social enterprises, civic bodies, academics and more. 

Trailblazer Scheme

We'll be trialling new ways to promote, support and resource a dynamic, creative future in our local economy. We'll seek out ideas that relate to creative technology and offer advice on inclusion, businesses and production, broker connections to universities, and use small injections of money to unlock opportunity.

Read more about the pathfinder.

Find out more

Bristol+Bath Creative R+D is part of the Creative Industries Cluster Programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and part of the Industrial Strategy.

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